The U.S. Supreme Court and Special Education: 2005 to 2007

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The Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) has spawned much litigation in which parents of children with disabilities and school districts disagree over the content of a student’s special education program. Supreme Court rulings are of tremendous importance, because they establish the legal standard for, and must be followed throughout, the entire country (Huefner, 2002; Yell, 2006). In the 30 years since the passage of the IDEA, from 1975 to 2005, the Supreme Court heard only seven cases  that directly involved students with disabilities and the IDEA (Board of Education v. Rowley, 1982; Burlington School Committee v. Department of Education of Massachusetts, 1985; Cedar Rapids Community School District v. Garret F., 1999; Florence County School District v. Carter, 1993; Honig v. Doe, 1988; Irving Independent School District v. Tatro, 1984; Smith v. Robinson, 1984).

In the period from 2005 to 2007, the Supreme Court heard four cases on special education and issued rulings in three of these cases. This represents a significant increase in the special education cases heard by the high court. The Supreme Court rulings are of great importance to students with disabilities, their parents, and school districts. Moreover, the three rulings all addressed the procedural rights of parents. In this article, the authors review these decisions. They first provide a brief synopsis of the procedural rights that the IDEA provides to parents. Second, they review the three rulings and briefly explain the fourth case in which the high court did not issue a ruling.  Third, the authors address the implications of these cases for educators and parents.

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Full APA Citation:  Yell, M. L., Ryan, J. B., Rozalski, M. E., & Katsiyannis, A. (2009). The U.S. Supreme Court and special education: 2005 to 2007. Teaching Exceptional Children, 41(3), 68-75.

Authors:  Yell, Mitchell L.; Ryan, Joseph B.; Rozalski, Michael E., &  Katsiyannis, Antonis

Title:  The U.S. Supreme Court and Special Education: 2005 to 2007

Year:   2009

Journal:  TEACHING Exceptional Children

PublisherCouncil for Exceptional Children

Volume:  41

Issue:   3

Pages: 68-75

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Yes.  NICHCY expresses its appreciation to the Council for Exceptional Children for its generous permission to post this article on our website.

While material produced by NICHCY is copyright free, this article is not. The original publisher of this article the Council for Exceptional Children holds the copyright to the article, whether in print or electronic form. You may view, download, print, or save the article’s content for the purposes of research, teaching, and/or private study. Please do not reproduce, post, redistribute, sell, modify, or create a derivative work of this content without prior, express written permission of the publisher.
For permission to reprint or copy this article, contact the Council for Exceptional Children, 2900 Crystal Drive, Suite 1000, Arlington, VA 22202-3557.  Phone: 888-232-7733.

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